Kayfabe Memories
March 10, 2012 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Kayfabe Memories has a small book's worth of material on the history of professional wrestling's regional territories and the grapplers who animated them.
posted by Trurl (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Sunday mornings. 8 a.m. Central States Wrestling. Bulldog Bob Brown. Rufus R. Jones. Butch Reed. Ernie "The Cat" Ladd.

Plus ... Jesse "The Body" Venture. "Nature Boy" Rick Flair.

And ... introducing a young man who will forever be known as "The Heartbreak Kid," Shawn Michaels.

Ahh, memories!
posted by ronofthedead at 8:15 PM on March 10, 2012

I loved Gordon Solie's voice. Just want to throw that out there. I wish he could have narrated every sports event.
posted by not_on_display at 8:19 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

AWA baby. I've seen some of the old guys walking around town here in Robbinsdale, MN. Saw Mean Gene Oakerlund a couple years ago. A lot of the 80's popular guys lived and trained around here.
posted by sanka at 8:23 PM on March 10, 2012

Americans love stories and spectacles. Superheroes and movie stars and wrasslers and tall tales all spring from the same fount. Kayfabe is, in the end, about the audience and not the athelete.

Somehow, seeing these men (and sometimes women) as they truly are, and not how the "storyline" defines them, makes their performances more compelling rather than less.

Ironically, I'm not certain the same would be true for Luche Libre...
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:36 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm disappointed that there wasn't more about Houston Wrestling in the 60's and 70's. Paul Boesch was an icon in the Houston area. While our parents entertained guests, all of us kids would sit in front of the TV and watch country music shows until 10:00 and then it was time for Houston Wrestling! Mil Mascaras, Terry Funk Sr, Wahoo McDaniel and refereed by Irish Danny McShane. I wish I could remember more of it, but that was 45 years ago. Dang I feel old.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 8:41 PM on March 10, 2012

Man, I first got into wrestling in the mid 80's, but, being that I was in Australia, we only got WWF down here. However, the kayfabe mags were full of names and photos of guys that I would (until the internet) only ever know as ink on a page. Nevertheless, I still had my favourite wrestlers, managers, regions, promotions, etc.

Even now as the smark I have become, I still love reliving the days that never were for me.
posted by cerulgalactus at 8:55 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow, I always said I never really watched that much professional wrasslin', but I just read the article on the AWA and I knew almost every...single...one of those names. Wow. And suddenly, like some strange repressed flashback, I can see my young self sitting directly in front of the TV watching Vern and Greg Gagne, Nick Bockwinkel, Blackwell, Lawler, Heenan...all these names are rushing back.

And then suddenly: I remember my thumb wrestlers. I had little wrestlers that fit on your thumb for real thumb wrasslin' action: hulk hogan...nikolai volkoff....the junkyard dog?

And then, it gets worse: I remember the unboxing of the greatest gift of all...and this basically seals the deal that I was a real wrestling fan....I received the Hulk Hogan workout kit. It had two hand squeezers to develop your grip. It had two blue dumbells. I think there was a jump rope? And the best part: was the hulkmania wrist and headbands! It came with a cassette tape of the Hulk himself motivating you. I can still hear him yelling at me through the headphones on my walkman. And I pumped iron like crazy with the hulk yelling at me....I don't know if I chugged raw eggs, but I definitely squeezed my grippers, and jumped rope, and curled those blue dumbells like crazy to generate massive pythons....and then....after all that...I tried to rip open my shirt. And failed.

It turns out those long strips across the back of the hulk's shirt weren't just the style then. You needed to pre-cut the shirts. It was a trick.

So was it all fake?

No. Absolutely not. And I will tell you why. Because, I was there. I don't know how or when exactly...and when I tell people...people from my own hometown that this happened, they don't believe me. But I was there in my high school's gymnasium. I watched in awe on the edge of that metal folding chair as George The Animal Steele went insane and ate the turnbuckle in the corner of the ring. He ate the motherf'ing turnbuckle right there in front of me. And I saw that bald sweaty head and those crazy eyes slowly raise up, and in his mouth, stuck to his face, floating down to the squared circle...were big chunks of cottony turnbuckle innards.

And you tell me it was all fake? How do you fake the consumption of a turnbuckle? You can't and you don't. You watch that clip, and if you don't believe then you wouldn't believe anything. You wouldn't even believe that the commentator in that clip went on to become the governor of the same state where I watched it all happen. Anything is possible.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 9:29 PM on March 10, 2012 [6 favorites]

As a life long wrestling fan, I love it when MetaFilter talks of the wrasslin goodness.
posted by deezil at 10:18 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is cool; although I don't follow wrasslin' any more, I grew up watching Georgia Championship Wrestling on WTCG. For years there was a urban myth that Mr. Wrestling Number 2 worked at the Proctor and Gamble plant here in Augusta.

Also, this post explains why Trurl out of the blue favorited a post of mine from 2007; I always wonder when things like that happen.
posted by TedW at 7:59 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

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